Do you know that you can easily restrict your Facebook profile and its posted content from appearing in search results of major search engines like Google, Yahoo! and Bing? If your answer is NO, then let’s check out in this post how to do so?
Login to your Facebook account using this link and once you are successfully logged in, click on the small arrow present at the top right corner of the screen:
When the drop down menu opens, click on Settings and you will now land on the Settings page of your account. On this page click on Privacy link present in the left sidebar:
You will now start seeing lots of privacy related options under Privacy Settings and Tools. Click on Edit in front of Do you want other search engines to link to your timeline? under Who can look me up? and un-check the box in front of Let other search engines link to your timeline:
Facebook will now warn you with following message:
When real world friends look for you using a search engine, this setting makes it possible for them to see a preview of your Facebook timeline (containing only info that’s public). If you continue, friends may not know if it’s really you.
Click on Confirm button to continue. After this search engine bots and users who are not logged in to their Facebook account can’t find your Facebook profile as well as any of its publicly accessible timeline content (photos, videos, status updates, maps etc.), because Facebook will show all of them following error, which is actually a 404 error:
This content is currently unavailable: The page you requested cannot be displayed right now. It may be temporarily unavailable, the link you clicked on may have expired, or you may not have permission to view this page.
Because of above not found error, all search engines are forced to drop your profile and all crawled content from your timeline from their search results. Keep in mind that this process may take few weeks to complete.
From now onwards only those people who are logged in to their account and your friends will be able to see your profile and your timeline’s content, whose privacy is set to Public.
Bonus Tip: Facebook’s inbuilt people search, which comes under graph search, allows anyone to search for a person using their email address and mobile number. Even if you have hidden these details from the public, any person can still search you using your email address and mobile number saved in your profile!
If you don’t want to appear in Facebook’s search results when someone types your email address OR mobile number in it, then select Friends of Friends OR Friends from the drop-down menu of Who can look you up using the email address you provided? under Who can look me up? on Privacy Settings and Tools page:
Similarly select Friends of Friends OR Friends from the drop-down menu of Who can look you up using the phone number you provided? under Who can look me up? on the same page.